Ryan Normand, 23, served notice that he’s a runner to watch when he beat former Longhorn ace Rory Tunningley at last week’s Schlotzsky’s BunRun at the Domain. Normand, a former Arizona State University track and cross-country standout, who’s gone 14:36 for the 5K is obviously in good shape.
As a teen at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, AZ, Normand set PRs of 15:10 in the 5K (cross-country) and 9:17 for the 3200 meters on the track. At ASU, where he majored in civic engineering, he ran 8:58 for the 3,000, and 4:06 for the 1,500. This past summer he returned to Arizona and notched a 33:02 for second place at the Midnight Sun Run 10K.
“The 14:36 is still my 5K PR from freshman year,” said Normand. “Unfortunately, I dealt with a lot of injuries in my later years. I still got to race a number of times in both track and cross-country, but was never able to train consistently enough to beat that PR.”
The ex-Sundevil moved to Pflugerville from Arizona, when he took job as a sustainability analyst a job at Dell, nipped Tunningley 15:07 to 15:13 on the rolling course. Pablo Lomeli took third in 16:6, as Mark Pinales, on the comeback trail placed fourth, also timed in 16:06. Chloe Muntefering was top woman in 18:55, ahead of Brooke Torres (19:08) Emily Durell was a close third in 19:10.
“I was right behind Rory and Mark for a little over two miles,” said Normand. “I let them set the pace since I honestly wasn’t sure what shape I was in or what time to expect. I made a move and took the lead just after the two- mile marker.”
The good-natured Tunningley enjoyed the competition, telling Normand, “Welcome to Austin, I look forward to racing you again!”
“The Bun Run was my first race since moving to Texas in July,” said Normand. “I want to try focusing on the half and full marathons now that I’m out of college. I’m thinking about signing up for San Antonio and Houston half-marathons and then deciding where to go from there.”
Right now, Normand runs about 60 miles per week, averaging about 6:30 pace. He’ll try to get in one hard/threshold run and one long run per week, while the other days are just normal 10 milers.
Like most newly arrived runners, Normand has found Austin to be a great place for the sport.
“I really like Austin so far, especially now that the weather is cooler (at least compared to Phoenix). I didn’t realize there was such a big running scene here until a couple weeks after I moved, but it’s pretty cool to see all the runners down at Town lake on a Saturday or Sunday. Occasionally I run with ARC, and I’m hoping to link up with some of the other local post-collegiates (including Rory) in the near future and get some good training in.”
Upcoming Races: Saturday, October 6 at 8:00 a.m., St. Anthony’s Fiesta 5K at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 801 N Burleson St. in Kyle. Saturday October 6 at 8:45 a.m., the Run For Life 5K at Ascension Church, 804 Pine St.in Bastrop.